Healthy Communities – April 26, 2013

Resources OregonWeightMapNew Obesity Map
NEW Map of Oregonians’ weight produced by the Oregon Tracking Program from data on drivers’ licenses and identification cards. Data were provided by the Driver & Motor Vehicle Services Division of the Oregon Department of Transportation (DMV). Never before have statewide data on weight status been displayed in such detail. To learn more, check out the full report and the 2013 Public Health Week presentation

Why Does Education Matter So Much to Health?
While it’s known that education leads to better jobs and higher income, research also shows strong links between education and longevity, reduced risk of illness, and increased vitality and school success for future generations. Yet, changing demographic trends and rising college costs portend poorly for health. This brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines the role that education plays in health

New CDC Sodium Reduction Toolkit Now Available
CDC recently released a toolkit, titled “Sodium Reduction Toolkit: A Global Opportunity to Reduce Population-Level Sodium Intake.” The toolkit is designed to provide international and national government agencies and public health organizations with an overview of various topics related to population-level sodium reduction. A Spanish-language version of the toolkit will be available soon. Topics in the toolkit cover –

  • Global Impact of Sodium on Health
  • Biomarkers
  • Policy Interventions
  • Indirect Estimation and Dietary Assessments
  • The Food Supply
  • Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors
  • Knowledge Translation

Reports and Articles

Nairobi’s new bike lanes aim to cut congestion and pollution
AlertNet: April 15, 2013
Cyclists in Nairobi are benefiting from the Kenyan government’s plan to reduce congestion and pollution with new highway construction.
The government has created bike lanes on a new superhighway in the capital and lowered taxes on bicycles to encourage urban residents to use them. The aim is to make people less dependent on cars, easing the city’s notorious traffic clogs and reducing carbon emissions from vehicles.

Public Health Touches Everybody: Washington State’s Mary Selecky on Accreditation
NewPublicHealth, 04/22/2013
NewPublicHealth is speaking with directors of several health departments who recently were accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board. Eleven health departments received the credential so far. We recently spoke with Mary Selecky, director of the Washington State health department, one of the first two state health agencies to receive national accreditation status.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Helps Boost Consumption At Low-Income Elementary Schools
A new study conducted by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service found that students at elementary schools participating in USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program consumed 15 percent more fruits and vegetables. Almost all students tried the fruit and vegetable snacks (97% and 84% of students, respectively); and a substantial majority ate most or all of snacks provided (86% and 61%, respectively). Click here to read the press release.

Children First for Oregon Releases Annual Report on Status of Children and Families
Children First of Oregon: April 23, 2013
Despite signs of economic recovery, more Oregon children in poverty

Research released by nonprofit advocacy organization Children First for Oregon reveals that despite signs of a soft economic recovery, there were more Oregon children living in poverty in 2011 (23.4%) than in the previous two years. In total, 44.2% of Oregon’s children were either poor or low-income in 2011.

Sugary drinks can raise diabetes risk by 22 percent -study
Reuters: April 24, 2013
Drinking just one can of sugar-laced soda drink a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by more than a fifth, according to a large European study published on Wednesday.

Using data from 350,000 people in eight European countries, researchers found that every extra 12 fluid ounce (340 ml) serving of sugar-sweetened drink raises the risk of diabetes by 22 percent compared with drinking just one can a month or less.

Diabetes Self-Care Improves Slowly, U.S. Report Finds
HealthDay News, April 24, 2013
But nearly half of patients aren’t meeting goals for blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol

More Americans are meeting diabetes care goals, but nearly half still aren’t achieving major targets for controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, government health officials say.

Just 14 percent of people with diabetes hit all the recommended health targets during the first decade of the 21st century, according to the new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Researchers found that between 1999 and 2010, the number of people with diabetes who achieved their blood sugar goals improved by about 8 percent. That same time period saw a nearly 12 percent improvement in the number of people meeting their blood pressure goals.

Costs to treat heart failure expected to more than double by 2030
April 24, 2013
Statement Highlights:

  • Heart failure costs are projected to more than double in the next 20 years as the U.S. population ages and the incidence of the condition climbs.
  • By 2030, every U.S. taxpayer could be paying $244 each year for heart failure expenses.
  • Strategies to prevent and treat heart failure are needed to curb the rise in the incidence of heart failure.

By 2030, you — and every U.S. taxpayer — could be paying $244 a year to care for heart failure patients, according to an American Heart Association policy statement.

The statement, published online in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure, predicts:

  • The number of people with heart failure could climb 46 percent from 5 million in 2012 to 8 million in 2030.
  • Direct and indirect costs to treat heart failure could more than double from $31 billion in 2012 to $70 billion in 2030.

Many Americans Breathing Cleaner Air: Report
HealthDay News: April 24, 2013
But some cities continue to have dangerously high levels of ozone and soot

Although many Americans are now breathing cleaner air, others are living in cities that are more polluted than they were a decade ago, a new report shows.

“The long-term trend is positive and headed to much cleaner air,” said report author Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national policy and advocacy for the American Lung Association. “[However], there is an uptick in some areas that are a concern and some areas where the problem remains very, very serious.”

The report, conducted by the American Lung Association, measured the levels of ozone and small particles in the air, known as soot, in almost 1,000 cities and counties in the United States between 2009 and 2011. About half of the 25 most polluted cities had improved since last year’s report, and many of those cities were the cleanest they had been since the association began the research in 2000.

According to an April 11th Smart Growth America newsletter, “In a report out last week [“Best Complete Streets Practices of 2012”:], the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, examined all the Complete Streets policies passed in the last year and highlighted some of the best. Leading the pack is Indianapolis…”

“…In total, 488 Complete Streets policies are now in place nationwide, at all levels of government. Statewide policies are in place in 27 states as well as the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Forty-two regional planning organizations, 38 counties and 379 municipalities in 48 states also have policies that allow everyone to safely use America’s roads. The policies passed in 2012 comprise more than one quarter of all policies in place today…”

Reduced Sodium Intake Reduces Blood Pressure, New Metaanalysis and Systematic Review Finds
A recent study, published in the journal BMJ, found evidence that reduced sodium intake can reduce blood pressure as well as reduce the risk of stroke and fatal coronary heart disease in non-acutely ill adults. The study, “Effect of lower sodium intake on health: systematic review and meta-analyses” also concluded that lower sodium intake does not have significant adverse effects on blood lipids, catecholamine levels, or renal function among adults.

The AHA recently released its Guide for Improving Cardiovascular Health at the Community Level, 2013 Update.

  • It includes evidence-based goals, strategies and recommendations for community-based public health interventions
  • It identifies three dimensions around which community-wide approaches might be organized:
  1. The optimal behaviors targeted for population-wide change,
  2. The community setting targeted for intervention, and
  3. The public health interventions required for population-wide changes to improve cardiovascular health.
  • It offers 125 opportunities to optimize the cardiovascular health where we live, work, play, learn, worship, and stay well

The guide focuses on:

  • Changing behaviors such as smoking, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating habits.
  • Increasing awareness of risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, and adherence to treatment.
  • Identifying community settings from worksites to barbershops that best impact health.
  • Specifying the types of interventions — media, organizational partnerships and policy change — that may impact health.

You can find the full article at AHA journal Circulation site

From the link of

  1. Commentaries by Drs. Eileen M. Stuart-Shor and George Howard
  2. Top 10 Things to Know: AHA Community Guide, 2013 Update
  3. Slide Set to use for your own presentations on this topic

Sodium Reduction in Bread Sensory Testing
The Oregon Health Authority in partnership with the Oregon State University Food Innovation Center (FIC) conducted research on consumer ability to detect differences in sodium levels between a control bread and reduced-sodium breads. Consumer acceptance of sensory attributes (e.g., taste, textures, aroma) of reduced-sodium breads products were also assessed. The breads had the following sodium levels: 1) control (typical salt content, sodium chloride was 2% of flour at 14% moisture basis), 2) 10% sodium reduction of control, 3) 20% sodium reduction of control and 4) 30% sodium reduction of control.

Based on preliminary data-

  • Consumers correctly identified differences in sodium levels of bread at both the 20% and 30% reduction from the control, but not at the 10% reduction level.
  • No significant differences in consumer ratings of overall acceptability or sensory attributes were found between the control bread and the reduced-sodium breads tested (10%, 20% and 30% reduction levels).

The Only Positive Effect Of The Cuban Embargo? Weight Loss
Scitable: April 19, 2013
From 1991 to 1995, Cuba was hit particularly hard by international embargo. Its population suffered. But scientists have now identified the only benefit of the embargo: it lead to a population-wide weight loss and with this a decrease in cases of diabetes and heart diseases.

The informative, easy-to-read report, made possible by a grant from Northwestern Mutual Foundation, is a roadmap for parents, educators, school administrators and school volunteers to create healthier school environments, demonstrates that physical activity supports academic achievement, well-nourished kids learn better and that healthier practices in schools can increase school revenue. Download The Learning Connection  to learn more and get started making healthy changes in your local schools today.

Among the key findings highlighted in The Learning Connection:

  • Moderate (physical) activity increases kids’ neuroelectric (or brain) activity.
  • On average, students who eat school breakfast have been shown to attend 1.5 more days of school per year and score 17.5 percent higher on standardized math tests.
  • One study of schools selling healthier foods and beverages found that 71 percent experienced revenue increases while 24 percent had no change at all.

Health and Human Services released enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)
New standards will help organizations improve quality of care and reduce health disparities

Health and Human Services (HHS) today released enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care – a blueprint to help organizations improve health care quality in serving our nation’s diverse communities.

The enhanced standards, developed by the HHS Office of Minority Health, are a comprehensive update of the 2000 National CLAS Standards and include the expertise of federal and non-federal partners nationwide, to ensure an even stronger platform for health equity. The enhanced National CLAS standards are grounded in a broad definition of culture – one in which health is recognized as being influenced by factors ranging from race and ethnicity to language, spirituality, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and geography.  Read the Press Release >>

According to the March/April issue of Safe Routes Matters, “…As excitement about National Bike to School Day builds in the second year, participation for the 2013 celebration on Wednesday, May 8, is expected to shoot past 2012’s total. Anyone can register a Bike to School Day event now at…registration is free and open to all individuals and/or organizations planning a 2013 Bike to School Day event in the United States. Registering…provides organizers access to a variety of downloadable materials, including stickers, certificates, badges and classroom activities. All registrants will also be entered into drawings for Saris bicycle parking racks.”


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